|Full name||Ryoichi Maeda|
|Date of birth||9 October 1981|
|Place of birth||Kobe, Japan|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|1994–1996||Gyosei Gakuen Junior
|1997–1999||Gyosei Gakuen High School|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 February 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19:09, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Maeda was born in Kobe, Japan but spent his childhood in the United States. He was educated at and played for Gyosei Junior and Senior High School in Tokyo. While he was a high school student, he was chosen as one of the Designated Players for Development by J. League and JFA. Because of this status, Maeda was able to register as a Verdy Kawasaki player while he was still eligible to play for his high school club. However, he did not play any official match for Verdy.
After graduating from his high school in 2000, he joined Jubilo Iwata. His first appearance as a professional player came on 3 May 2000 in a league match against Kawasaki Frontale. His first professional goal came on 28 August 2001 in a J. League Cup game against JEF United Ichihara. In the season 2009 was the J. League Top Scorer with twenty goals. In the 2010 season, Maeda became the top scorer again, netting 17 times.
Curse of Maeda
Since the 2007 season, for 6 straight seasons, each team Maeda scores his first goal of the league campaign against has eventually been relegated to J. League Division 2. This has given rise to the so-called "curse of (Ryoichi) Maeda". It became a topic of wide public conversation in late 2012 as Gamba Osaka, the team that he scored his first goal of that season against, was in the relegation zone despite having not ranked lower than 3rd in the previous 3 seasons. Consistent with the "curse", Gamba Osaka was relegated to J2 following the last game of the season in which they lost against, funnily enough, Jubilo Iwata 2–1 with Maeda scoring a goal and an assist. The curse will have come to an end by the end of the 2013 season, however, as Maeda's first goal of the 2013 season came in a loss to Urawa, who will not be relegated.
Maeda played for Japan U-20 at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina. He also played for Japan U-23 at the 2004 Summer Olympics qualification but failed to be picked up to the squad for the finals in Greece. After impressive performance at club, Maeda made his international debut for Japan in a friendly against Cameroon on 22 August 2007 at Ōita Stadium. He scored his first international goal on 17 October 2007 in a friendly against Egypt at Nagai Stadium in Osaka. In 2011, Maeda participated in his first major full international tournament at 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar and started all six games in Japan's Asian Cup winning campaign.
Updated to 23 February 2017.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Japan||League||Emperor's Cup||League Cup||Asia||Total|
|2000||Júbilo Iwata||J1 League||1||0||3||0||-||-||4||0|
|2015||F.C. Tokyo||J1 League||30||9||6||0||2||1||-||38||10|
|Japan national team|
National team career statistics
Appearances in major competitions
|Japan||2001 FIFA World Youth Championship||U-20||3||0||0||Group stage|
|Japan||2011 AFC Asian Cup||Senior||6||0||3||Champion|
Goals for senior national team
- Júbilo Iwata
- Asian Young Footballer of the Year (1) : 2000
- J. League Top Scorer (2) : 2009, 2010
- J. League Best XI (2) : 2009, 2010
- J. League Cup MVP (1) : 2010
- "Stats Centre: Ryoichi Maeda Facts". Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
- The curse of Ryoichi Maeda Goal.com 26 September 2012 retrieved 4 December 2012
- "MAEDA Ryoichi". Japan National Football Team Database.
- Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "2017 J1&J2&J3選手名鑑 (NSK MOOK)", 8 February 2017, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411420 (p. 74 out of 289)
- Ryoichi Maeda at National-Football-Teams.com
- "Asian Player of the Year". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
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